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Jeremiah 2

Judah Transgresses Against Yahweh

Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying,
2 “Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh,
“I remember concerning you the lovingkindness of your youth,
The love of your betrothals,
Your walking after Me in the wilderness,
Through a land not sown.
Israel was holy to Yahweh,
The first of His produce.
All who ate of it became guilty;
Evil came upon them,” declares Yahweh.’”
4 Hear the word of Yahweh, O house of Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says Yahweh,
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after vanity and became vain?
They did not say, ‘Where is Yahweh
Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
Who led us through the wilderness,
Through a land of deserts and of pits,
Through a land of drought and of the shadow of death,
Through a land that no one crossed
And where no man inhabited?’
I brought you into the fruitful land
To eat its fruit and its good things.
But you came and defiled My land,
And My inheritance you made an abomination.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is Yahweh?’
And those who handle the law did not know Me;
The shepherds also transgressed against Me,
And the prophets prophesied by Baal
And walked after things that did not profit.

“Therefore I will yet contend with you,” declares Yahweh,
“And with your sons’ sons I will contend.
For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see,
And send to Kedar and perceive closely
And see if there has been such a thing as this!
Has a nation changed gods
Though they were not gods?
But My people have changed their glory
For that which does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
And be horribly afraid, be very devastated,” declares Yahweh.
“For My people have done two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That can hold no water.

“Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn slave?
Why has he become plunder?
The young lions have roared at him;
They have given forth their voice.
And they have made his land a desolation;
His cities have been turned into ruin, without inhabitant.
Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
Have shaved the top of your head.
Have you not done this to yourself
By your forsaking Yahweh your God
When He led you in the way?
But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt,
To drink the waters of the Nile?
Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria,
To drink the waters of the River?
Your own evil will chastise you,
And your acts of faithlessness will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake Yahweh your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares Lord Yahweh of hosts.

“For long ago I broke your yoke
And tore off your bonds;
But you said, ‘I will not serve!’
For on every high hill
And under every green tree
You have lain down as a harlot.
Yet I planted you a choice vine,
A completely true seed.
How then have you turned yourself before Me
Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?
Although you wash yourself with lye
And use much soap,
The stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares Lord Yahweh.
“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;
I have not walked after the Baals’?
Look at your way in the valley!
Know what you have done!
You are a swift young camel entangling her ways,
A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness,
That sniffs the wind in her passion.
In the time of her heat who can turn her away?
All who seek her will not become weary;
In her month they will find her.
Keep your feet from being barefoot
And your throat from thirst;
But you said, ‘It is hopeless!
No! For I have loved strangers,
And after them I will walk.’

“As the thief is shamed when he is found,
So the house of Israel is shamed;
They, their kings, their princes,
And their priests and their prophets,
Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
And to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
For they have turned their back to Me
And not their face;
But in the time when their evil comes they will say,
‘Arise and save us.’
But where are your gods
Which you made for yourself?
Let them arise, if they can save you
In the time when your evil comes;
For according to the number of your cities
Are your gods, O Judah.

“Why do you contend with Me?
You have all transgressed against Me,” declares Yahweh.
“In vain I have struck your sons;
They received no discipline.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
Like a destroying lion.
O generation, behold the word of Yahweh.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel
Or a land of thick darkness?
Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam;
We will no longer come to You’?
Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
Or a bride her attire?
Yet My people have forgotten Me
Days without number.
How well you prepare your way
To seek love!
Therefore even the wicked women
You have taught your ways.
Also on your skirts is found
The lifeblood of the innocent needy;
You did not find them breaking in.
But in spite of all these things,
Yet you said, ‘I am innocent;
Surely His anger is turned away from me.’
Behold, I will enter into judgment with you
Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
Why do you despise Him so much
In changing your way?
Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt
As you were put to shame by Assyria.
From this place also you will go out
With your hands on your head;
For Yahweh has rejected those in whom you trust,
And you will not succeed with them.”